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Home :: Archive :: 2008 :: January ::
Misremembered Lines
The Shakespeare Conference: SHK 19.0007  Monday, 7 January 2008

From:		Edna Boris <
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Date:		Saturday, 5 Jan 2008 08:34:37 -0500
Subject:	Misremembered Lines

When a doctor I was seeing for the first time heard that I teach courses 
in Shakespeare, he said that he remembered all his life one line from 
the *Merchant of Venice*, even though he didn't understand the line. So, 
of course, I asked him what it was and then who said it. What he recited 
was inaccurate (he had the word "happiness" where the word "silence" 
should be), and he did not know who said it. With some searching, I 
found the lines:


*GRATIANO
Thanks, i' faith, for silence is only commendable
In a neat's tongue dried and a maid not vendible. (1.1.111-112)*

Any idea why these would have stuck in someone's mind? As a doctor, he 
struck me as particularly thorough, attentive, and helpful. Any 
interpretative comments about these lines that I might pass along the 
next time I see him?

-- Edna Boris

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